Premium bondholders having to wait for winnings
Premium bondholders were forced to wait several weeks for payments in January after a printing error delayed thousands of payments.
National Savings & Investments, the issuer of the bonds claims a printing error was to blame for the delay which meant winners received their money at the end of January rather than mid-month.
It is thought many cheques were accidentally issued to bondholders under 16. While children under 16 can hold premium bonds they must be purchased for them by a parent or legal guardian and should the bond be a winner the cheque must be made out to the guardian, not the child.
However, in January many of the cheques printed included the names of both the guardian and the under-16 bondholder, rendering them invalid.
Having to reprint the cheques meant a delay in them reaching the winners.
An NS&I spokesperson says hundred of thousands of customers were affected.
All payments should have been issued now but if you believe you are a winner and have not received a cheque yet you can contact NS&I on 0500 007 007 or write to National Savings & Investments Glasgow G58 1SB.
A form of National Savings Certificate, premium bonds are effectively gilt-edged securities: you loan your money to the government and, in return, it pays you for the privilege with a guarantee it will return your capital at a specified date. Where premium bonds differ is that the interest payments (currently 1.5%) are pooled and paid out as prize money and you can get your cash back within a fortnight, with no risk. Launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer Harold Macmillan in his 1956 Budget, every single £1 unit has the same chance of winning and in May 2011, 1,772,482 winners (from a total draw of 42,539,589,993 eligible bond numbers) shared £53,174,500. The odds of winning are 24,000 to 1 and the maximum holding is £30,000 per person but it remains the only punt in which you can perpetually recycle your stake money.